While much of the political world is focused on the fraying of the solid front that Democratic Senators have been putting up in defense of President Obama’s healthcare law, there’s another area where Obama’s base is beginning to defy him: the massively widespread spying operation on American citizens that the National Security Agency has been conducting.
Actors Maggie Gyllenhaal, John Cusack, and Will Wheaton and director Oliver Stone, are among several others appearing in a new video promoting a march in DC this weekend under the tagline “Stop Watching Us.” Even more interestingly, congressman-for-life John Conyers (a prominent Democrat) also appears in the clip as he and others compare the NSA’s spying on Americans to the Watergate scandal.
No one mentions Obama in the clip but it’s interesting also that no one mentions President Bush either, the man who usually gets the main focus of left-wing ire on such matters.
The clip begins with the leaker of the “Pentagon Papers,” Daniel Ellsberg and then continues in a prolonged narration with each successive person in the frame building on the argument.
“Every American is at risk of getting caught up in the NSA dragnet,” Stone says in his first segment.
Cusak points out, correctly, that the intelligence agency’s data collection also includes average Americans who are not suspects in any crime.
“We’ve been misled,” Conyers states as the clip cuts to testimony of the current U.S. director of national intelligence, James Clapper, outright lying to Congress about domestic surveillance.
The clip then alludes to former President Richard Nixon although it does not state in any sort of detail that staffers working for his campaign had engaged in the planting of secret recording devices inside offices of his rivals at the Democratic Party.
“It was wrong then, it’s wrong now,” Cusack adds. “The tools for surveillance have never been more powerful. And the threat to our civil liberties has never been greater.”
The video continues and then gives a plug for the website “Stop Watching Us” which is an effort supported by an across-the-spectrum group of public policy organizations such as the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Libertarian Party, and FreedomWorks.